Yesterday, both of my therapy groups wanted to discuss people and situations that drive them nuts.
If idioms you don’t understand drive you nuts, here’s an explanation of “driving me nuts” from knowyourphrase.com :
To be greatly frustrated or annoyed. The word “nuts” is sometimes replaced by the words crazy, bonkers, bananas, insane, or up the wall. However, the meaning remains unchanged.
When people are annoyed to the point where they can no longer tolerate anymore, they might use this common idiom to describe their frustrations.
According to the website Word-Detective, by the mid to late-1800s, the word ‘nut’ was slang to mean a person’s head. Not long after, it looks like it also acquired the meaning of someone who was not acting right in the head, e.g., a person acting strange or crazy might be described as “nuts” or being “off their nut.”
The earliest example I could find of this phrase in writing comes from the newspaper The Bilioxi Daily Herald, printed in the year 1884. The idiom is written under an advice column, where people could write in asking a woman named Ann Landers for advice:
“DEAR ANN LANDERS: I am a boy, 18 years old, a high school senior, and my dad is driving me nuts! He has read a lot about drugs and is scared to death I might be trying something.”
* My neighbor is blaring loud music and it’s really driving me nuts. Maybe I should go tell them to stop.
* Emily is driving herself nuts over the job interview she has tomorrow, and she’s having trouble sleeping from the anxiety.
Ann is driving herself nuts over (1) the plane trip she is taking tomorrow and (2) how painful her shoulder is, and she’s having trouble sleeping from the anxiety.
When people in my groups kept focusing on what drives them nuts (which included rude people and politicians), I eventually drove the discussion towards coping strategies. I asked people to focus on what helps when things drive them nuts, and they were able to identify many things , including:
- taking a breath,
- taking a shower,
- patting a cat,
- phoning a friend,
- good food,
- being in the moment, and
- getting something done they were procrastinating.
It’s driving me nuts that I can’t remember any more of the many coping strategies people discussed yesterday.
Do any of these photos drive you nuts?
Feel free to comment about what drives you nuts and what helps you cope.
I hope gratitude doesn’t drive you nuts, because I have a lot of it for all who helped me create this post and — of course! — for YOU.